Are You Sleeping Too Much?

As you probably know, sleep deprivation is bad for you. Experts at Johns Hopkins University say that sleep-deprived people are more likely to catch a cold, are 48 percent more likely to develop heart disease, have an increased risk of blood pressure, are more likely to get in traffic accidents, and are at a greater risk for things like depression, anxiety, irritability, and forgetfulness. So, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults and young adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

But what happens if you regularly sleep a lot longer than that? Does too much sleep cause health problems, too?

Unfortunately, it looks like the answer is yes. People who sleep 10 hours or more are at an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and trouble sleeping Prevention reports. And WebMD links chronic oversleeping to back pain, depression, and headaches.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

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To be clear, these problems are associated with people who sleep 10+ hours most nights or every night. If you sleep this long on occasion, for example, if you are sick or suffering from jetlag, that’s a different matter. Only about 2 percent of people suffer from chronic oversleeping, also known as “long sleeping” or hypersomnia. And these individuals may require as much as 10-12 hours of sleep every single night.

“The disorder often begins in childhood, and last throughout the subject’s life,” the American Sleep Association explains. “The sleep itself is very normal and deep. The disorder has not been connected to any genetic traits, medical conditions or psychological issues, and remains a relative mystery.”

Healthline explains that some health conditions could cause oversleeping, such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, depression, thyroid problems, or heart disease. This would be a sleep problem that’s separate from hypersomnia as a standalone medical condition.

“If your oversleeping is caused by an underlying health issue, treating the issue may help you start sleeping normally,” Healthline advises. “Making lifestyle changes that address poor sleep habits may also help.”

If you regularly sleep 10 or more hours each night, it might be worth checking in with your doctor to see if there’s anything else going on with your health or mental health that could be a contributing factor. And if it turns out you suffer from hypersomnia, ask your physician what you can do to negate the documented side effects.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

Featured image: Rachata Teyparsit/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.

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